Blog of Rights

Supreme Court Delivers Fairness to Pregnant Workers in UPS Case

Supreme Court Delivers Fairness to Pregnant Workers in UPS Case

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 8:28pm
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an important ruling for pregnant workers in the case of Peggy Young, a UPS delivery driver who was forced on to unpaid leave after she became pregnant and was advised by her doctor not to lift more than 20 pounds. The lower courts in Young's case ruled, as many other lower courts have, that it was perfectly fine for employers to push pregnant workers off the job and deny them light-duty accommodations, even when the employer gives light-duty to many other groups of workers. In Peggy's case, her employer provided accommodations to workers who needed them because they were injured on the job, as well as to workers who were covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and workers who lost their commercial driving licenses. The Supreme Court overturned that decision today's in a 6-3 decision. The court ruled that employers cannot impose a "significant burden" on pregnant workers and that a pregnant worker can show that her employer's practices are unjustified if the employer makes accommodations for a large percentage of non-pregnant workers, while denying the same kinds of accommodations to pregnant workers. This ruling is a gain for women across the country. It furthers the purpose of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which was passed more than 35 years ago with the goal of putting women on an equal footing and ensuring that they can't be fired or forced onto leave when they become pregnant.
Firing a Mom Because She's Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

Firing a Mom Because She's Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:11pm

A few months ago, I posted about Angela Ames, the Nationwide Insurance worker who alleged that she was denied a place to pump breast milk when she returned to work from maternity leave. When she protested, Angela was coerced into resigning by her supervisor,…

Payckeck Fairness

Half a Century Later, Mad Men's Peggy Olson Is Still Waiting for Paycheck Fairness

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:14pm

Despite the popularity of the show “Mad Men,” we are no longer living in the 1960s, but the current gender wage gap doesn’t reflect that. Ongoing wage inequity should be a thing that’s in the past.

The persistent pay gap exists, despite…

A Pregnant Worker’s Day in Court

A Pregnant Worker’s Day in Court

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 10:45am

A federal appeals court heard arguments in the case of Peggy Young v. UPSPeggy Young was a package delivery driver for UPS when she became pregnant and asked UPS for a light duty assignment, so that she could continue to work while pregnant, even though her doctor had recommended she not lift more than 20 pounds.

New Mom Who Needed to Pump During Bar Exam Would Not Take 'No' for an Answer

New Mom Who Needed to Pump During Bar Exam Would Not Take 'No' for an Answer

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 10:21am

Late last year, Shahzeen Karim, an Illinois attorney and applicant to the Texas bar, tweeted: "Real time: Told TX #barexam will not accommodate me nursing/pumping my baby, due Feb 7th. Option? Pump in bathroom during break for 3 days."

Needless…

U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 1:08pm

Some of America's most vulnerable workers are victims of modern-day slavery, and the government knows it. What's worse: These workers are protecting U.S. military and economic interests – but the U.S. isn't protecting them.

In its annual…

Just A Smack On The Ass: A Tale Of Sexual Assault, Vengeance And Nervous Swearing

Just A Smack On The Ass: A Tale Of Sexual Assault, Vengeance And Nervous Swearing

By Robyn Shepherd, ACLU at 10:56am

Last month, the ACLU's Louise Melling blogged about how street harassment shames and humiliates women, and is underreported because of the stigma attached to it. While that blog was making the editing rounds here at the office, I shared my own story…

How Far Has The Women's Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?

How Far Has The Women's Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 3:40pm

Forty years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board of directors determined that women's rights should be...

Honoring the Women of the Civil Rights Movement

Honoring the Women of the Civil Rights Movement

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:27pm

History month celebrations, like those honoring African-Americans and women, are sometimes criticized as being ineffective ways of countering the tendency to marginalize the vital role of blacks and women in shaping American culture. Instead of…

Monica Jones at a press conference

Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:19am

In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are "manifesting" an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence…